Right to respect for private and family life

Article 8: Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

Article 8 of the Convention protects people’s right to respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence. A State cannot interfere in an individual’s private life but at the same time has a duty to protect every individual’s moral and physical integrity.

The European Court of Human Rights has interpreted the protection of private and family life fairly broadly. It has ruled, for example, that the expulsion of a foreigner, the banning of consensual homosexual acts in private, a State’s refusal to allow a prisoner to go to his parents’ funerals, or a State’s refusal to recognise the true paternity of a still-born child constituted violations of Article 8.

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